The Royal Botanic Gardens, which are just a short walk around the water's edge from the Sydney Opera House, is one of the most breathtakingly beautiful settings you will see anywhere, with the gardens filling an area of land between the harbour and the eastern part of the central business district.
The gardens sit on the side of an undulating piece of land and the harbour views from up on the hill are superb. There are large trees with a wonderful shade canvas and this makes the best spot imaginable to stop and have lunch - sitting on the grass and taking in the harbour views.
Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney
A walkway skirts around the harbour front at the lower part of the gardens and is popular for lunchtime walks or jogs. The gardens have more than one million specimens and there is even a hop-on hop-off "train" for the less energetic.
The gardens are an excellent place to escape the noise of the city and are situated quite close to some of the major city hotels around Hyde Park. They open daily at 6.30am and close at sunset. Entry to the gardens is free.